Reflecting on Cultural Topics through Digital Storytelling

Students in instructor Xiang Zhou's Cultural Psychology course (PSY 3301 - fall 2016), created digital story videos reflecting on cultural topics.

Student Examples:
Trans Identities and the Mental Health of Trans Individuals (Produced by Anthony Thao and Celina Grimes)


Portrayals of Gender Role Stereotypes in the Media (Produced by David Jara and Abbe Hendrickx)


Cultural Appropriation (Produced by Huda Omar and Aaron Kurti)

Beneath the Book Cover (Produced by Hyo Hee Park and Amy Harm)


Sisterhood Boutique (Produced by Michelle Tafuri and Miriam Hadidi)


CVE Digital Story (Produced by Fowzia Osman and Ayaan Dahir)


Equality for Women (Produced by Elise Holtz and Michelle Nguyen)


 

Learning Objectives

  • Gain a deeper understanding and analysis to a certain cultural psychology topic
  • Communicate important cultural psychology topics to a wider, lay audience
  • Demonstrate cultural competence in working with peers in class

Demonstrated Learning Benefits

  • Increased participation and engagement in class content
  • Increased engagement on campus and in community service learning
  • Deepened personal reflections and analyses on power and privilege
  • Mastery of multimedia skills

Subject Knowledge Acquired

Students are expected to gain a deeper analysis into a specific topic related to cultural psychology by conducting a research of the relevant field, integrating scholarly information and/or personal analyses effectively as part of the digital story, connecting between the specific topic with the course and larger society, and communicating the story effectively with your peers and general public.
 

Soft Skill Set Acquired

  • Video production-editing skill sets
  • Video interviewing skill sets
  • Audio/visual mixed media composition
  • Voice over (scripting)
  • Media Literacy (media arts approach: video production)
  • Project management
  • Group work

Challenges

  • One challenge with this assignment is team collaboration. As with all team-based assignment, there are common issues such as division of labor, which makes it more challenging in the context of video production. And in the context of cultural psychology course, students also need to learn and practice navigating around cultural differences in their team communications. 
  • Students in psychology are accustomed to writing a term paper but may have normal anxiety about approaching a digital storytelling project, especially when it's the first time for them to make a video. Therefore, scaffolding this assignment is critical throughout the semester. It's helpful to have students submit their digital story outlines, peer evaluations etc at multiple checkpoints.

Course Assignment Documentation

Digital Story Assignment Documentation (Instructor)

Campus Support Resources

Media production course outreach support was offered by Media Outreach Librarian, Scott Spicer, in collaboration with Emily Paul, Head of the Disability Services Captioning unit, for YouTube captioning support. Some of the student groups also benefited from media creation, production computing, and equipment loan support in the SMART Learning Commons.

Media Production Support Guide developed by Scott Spicer for PSY 3301.
 

Student Production Support from the SMART Learning Commons

Reserve Production Equipment
Schedule Video Production Project Support